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(WVU Photo/Jennifer Shephard)

WVU plans for July 1 implementation of Campus Self-Defense Act

The West Virginia University Board of Governors took the next step during its Friday (Feb. 23) meeting to implement the Campus Self-Defense Act which goes into effect July 1.

The Board approved a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for BOG Finance and Administration Rule 5.14 – Deadly Weapons, Dangerous Objects, and W.Va. Campus Self-Defense Act. It will be posted for public comment for 30 days beginning Monday (Feb. 26). Passed by the West Virginia Legislature in 2023, the Campus Self-Defense Act allows a person to carry a concealed pistol or revolver on the grounds of an institution of higher education, with some exceptions, if that person has a current and valid license to carry a concealed deadly weapon. “Although the Campus Self-Defense Act includes several exceptions to the campus carry requirement, those exceptions are not automatically required by law,” Associate Vice President for Government Relations and Collaboration Travis Mollohan said. “The Board must decide which, if any, exceptions it will adopt and must do this through its rulemaking process.”A web page has been established for those who want to learn more about the law and follow updates about how it will be implemented across the WVU System. FAQs and other pertinent information can be found there, with more to be added in the weeks and months ahead.“We want to help our campus understand the law and will provide access to the legislation,” Sharon Martin, vice president for University Engagement and co-chair of the Campus Safety Steering Group, said during a presentation to the Board.Martin and fellow co-chair Dean of Students Corey Farris said, in addition to the web page, information will be shared in various ways including through emails, a Campus Conversation this spring and events such as New Student Orientation.Plans are also moving forward related to the upcoming search for a new University president. Board member Dr. Patrice Harris, who leads the Ad Hoc Governance Committee, said the committee plans to present a draft BOG Rule during a special meeting in March regarding the process for conducting a presidential search.“During that special meeting, we will ask the Board to approve putting the proposed Rule out for a 30-day public comment period. Following that comment period, we will have another special meeting in late April or early May to ask the Board to approve a final version,” Harris said.Also in March, the University will release a Request for Procurement proposal to begin the process to retain a firm to assist with the upcoming presidential search.At the next regular Board meeting on April 12, the committee will make a presentation on the details of the search process and timeline.During Friday’s Academic Affairs Committee meeting, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Maryanne Reed shared that this year, the Morgantown Campus and WVU Potomac State College in Keyser boasted pass rates of 100% for Bachelor of Nursing students taking the national licensure exam. The pass rate for the WVU Institute of Technology in Beckley was 94%.“These are stellar students in a stellar program which offers several unique student success initiatives, including peer coaching, peer tutoring and resiliency training,” Reed said. “By the way, this is happening at the same time that WVU is expanding its nursing programs across the state to better serve the state’s critical nursing needs.”Her report also noted the WVU Foundation recently donated $400,000 support undergraduate research, allowing the Summer Undergraduate Research Experience or SURE program to increase the number of students it serves and the stipends for students enrolled full-time in the program for two months in the summer.View the Academic Affairs and Accreditation Committee agenda and meeting materials.The Board also approved the following during its Friday regular meeting:        ·      creation of a new BS in Respiratory Therapy in the School of Medicine available to students this fall;        ·      deactivation of the Career Technical Education program which is no longer offered at WVUIT;        ·      Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for BOG Talent and Culture Rule 3.5 – Employee Leave to ensure consistency with the University’s current practices and compliance with federal laws. It will be posted for public comment Monday (Feb. 26) for 30 days;        ·      second phase of the Café Evansdale kitchen renovation project through the Sodexo Facility Enhancement Fund;        ·      and lighting upgrades at Milan Puskar Stadium to meet NCAA standards for live televised broadcasts.View the Feb. 23 BOG regular meeting agenda and meeting materials.

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